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The Agricultural Heritage of the Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil of Chicoutimi Sisters

Saint-Joseph Farm

The Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil Congregation was founded in 1894, in Chicoutimi, a fast-developing rural area. The Congregation, dedicated to the education of children in remote parishes, turned to farming to provide for their members.

The Sisters rolled up the sleeves of their fine habits to tend a garden near their convent. The garden grew as their numbers increased, and although this happened very fast, it was still not enough. The Sisters purchased four farms between 1933 and 1959. Farm work was very demanding for the young Sisters who were used to silence and prayer in the convent. However, they worked with joy and devotion: clearing, sowing, harvesting vegetables, processing livestock for meat, maintaining henhouses, and collecting eggs.

As time went by, the farms, totalling 700 acres of land, became a genuine agricultural network, complete with barns, farmhouses, beehives, livestock, chickens, ducks, rabbits, machinery, and fruit trees.

From 1936 to 2018, the complex evolved in harmony with the needs of the Congregation. Learn more about this fellowship of pioneers, the daily lives of the Sisters on the farm, far from their refuge of prayer and contemplation.

Black and white aerial view of farm buildings.

St. Joseph farm and buildings, 1954. SNDBC archives

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